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Decoder IC from STMicroelectronics targets HD set-top boxes

March 23, 2010 // Julien Happich

STMicroelectronics began sampling the STi7106 high-definition (HD) video decoder, which offers enhancements for higher performance, lower power, and lower bill of materials costs in set-top boxes. Supporting all required audio and video standards such as H.264, VC-1, MPEG2 and WM9, the STi7106 adds AVS high-definition decoding and maintains the same architecture as the STi7105 enabling continuity and easy migration.

The chip delivers cost and performance advantages for all set-top box markets, including basic zapper boxes and digital video recorders. By supporting the latest HD standards, as well as HD formats such as AVS, which is important for the STB market in China, the STi7106 delivers a low-cost and high-performance solution for products deployed in all geographic regions. 

Enhanced power management further extends the STi7106's low-power credentials, helping end products to meet power-saving initiatives such as the International Energy Authority's 1W Plan, which aims to save up to 1% of global CO2 emissions by targeting sub-1W standby power for all electronic products.  

The STi7106 features increased performance with more than 1000DMIPS on the host CPU. It has a high-performance graphics processor with a triple-source 2D blitter engine, tile ram bandwidth saver, compositor and 1080p output. Enhanced connectivity supports dual e-SATA for DVR applications, dual USB 2.0 ports; 1000-Mbit/s GMII Ethernet and 8-bit SD-MMC/SDIO interface for memory cards.

Embedded security includes DES, TDES, AES, and DVB descramblers, as well as support for digital rights management via Windows DRM 10 and Secure Video Processor (SVP) standards. The chip also supports HDMI and High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP).

The IC implements ST's advanced digital noise reduction algorithms to optimize picture quality in various applications and environments. In addition, an enhanced security architecture enables authenticated boot from serial Flash and NAND Flash, allowing designers to use cost-competitive memories.

The device samples come in a 27x27mm PBGA package. Comprehensive development support for rapid time-to-market includes source code for STAPI software drivers, as well as the STi7106 evaluation platform and reference design with integrated drivers and support for satellite, terrestrial, cable and DSL demodulators.

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